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Oct 15, 2013 01:04 PM

What Should I Use for a Composting Bin?

I'm not totally new to composting, but my last bin which I'm sure I over payed for at Smith/Hawkin 3 years ago was destroyed in Super Storm Sandy last year and I want to replace it. My last bin was stackable and plastic. What are your suggestions for a replacement. Thanks.

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  1. You can build one yourself easily with 2x4's and chicken wire. I put gates on the front of mine for removal of the finished product, but if I were doing it again, I'd just leave a 9 inch high gap at the bottom front to shovel out the compost.

    1. I have a three bin system like the other poster describes. My husband used the instructions which I think were in the original Crockett's Victory Garden book. Instead of a gate, the fronts are ordinary pieces of lumber 1 x 6 or something like that. The front frame is built so the wood can be slid in to make a solid front as the pile grows. Then can easily be removed to shovel or turn. The idea is to turn the pile into the next bin. He probably used pressure treated lumber. The bin set up is about 30 years old and was moved about three miles when we moved in 2007. This looks pretty similar.

      1. I made one out of a 30-gal plastic garbage can. Use a 1/2" drill bit to make holes all around the can, then use a reciprocating saw to cut out the bottom. Also cut a panel out of the side (from the top) that you will use to access the compost. Turn the can over, put the lid over the hole in the bottom and weigh it down with a brick. Put another brick in front of the cut-out panel to hold it in place.

        I used this for about 8 years, then gave it to my neighbor because I filled it up to quickly. never had a problem with raccoons or other urban criitters). I bought a bigger one at Ocean State Job Lot for about 50 bucks.

        1. Thanks all,this will be one of my my winter projects.

          1. I have one of the S&H stackable ones (our local garbage company sells them for about half what S&H does), as well as one of those rotating metal thingies (bought when I had money). We can't have open piles (within city limits). I start stuff in the rotating one, and then move it to the stackable to finish.

            The rotating one works well if you remember to give it a few turns every day. IF you remember. Which I don't, but hey, eventually, compost happens anyway! It's on the small side, so probably not enough volume for anyone with a yard larger than a couple of parking spaces.

            3 Replies
            1. re: kcshigekawa

              Can I ask where you live? Yes, the one some S&H was overpriced but I couldn't find it anywhere else. Is it possible upr garbage company can tell you where they get it from or at least what it's called? I appreciate any help you can give me. After hurricane Irene and Sandy, we have no more trees left on the property so my next composter will be safe. Thanks again.


              1. re: jnk

                I'm in Sonoma County, CA. I have a feeling the garbage company gets the stacking bins at cost, and sells them at cost, just to keep as much as they can out of the landfill.

                A friend of mine (a few miles away in Sonoma County) is experimenting with (so far) two large black trash cans, She's drilled a bunch of holes all around and fills it with layers of grass clippings and kitchen scraps. It's only been a month or so, so I can't tell how well it's going to work. But if she stirs it around or moves it from one to the other, it should be OK.

                Another tip...I think it came from Organic Gardening years ago.. "Don't turn; churn" They recommended getting a 6 foot long piece of rebar, and using it to stir up the compost. Just put it in all the way to the bottom of the bin, angle it as much as possible and pivot it around the bottom end. Move it over and inch or two and repeat. Etc. Etc.

                1. re: kcshigekawa

                  Thanks for the info. Being in N.J. I've got a few months to come up with a plan.